REAL ID Harder Than Legislators Thought
According to the Associated Press:
State motor vehicle officials nationwide who will have to carry out the Real ID Act say its authors grossly underestimated its logistical, technological and financial demands.
In a comprehensive survey obtained by The Associated Press and in follow-up interviews, officials cast doubt on the states’ ability to comply with the law on time and fretted that it will be a budget buster.
I’ve already written about REAL ID, including the obscene costs:
REAL ID is expensive. It’s an unfunded mandate: the federal government is forcing the states to spend their own money to comply with the act. I’ve seen estimates that the cost to the states of complying with REAL ID will be $120 million. That’s $120 million that can’t be spent on actual security.
According to the AP, I was way off:
Pennsylvania alone estimated a hit of up to $85 million. Washington state projected at least $46 million annually in the first several years.
Separately, a December report to Virginia’s governor pegged the potential price tag for that state as high as $169 million, with $63 million annually in successive years. Of the initial cost, $33 million would be just to redesign computing systems.
Remember, security is a trade-off. REAL ID is a bad idea primarily because the security gained is not worth the enormous expense.
See also the ACLU’s site on REAL ID.